Shaleton West Marches
This page contains alterations and expansions of the standard 5e rules used in this campaign. For rules/comments on expected behavior, see Etiquette. For rules on organizing and exploring, see Organization. For an overview of the differences between our West Marches campaign and a normal campaign, see The Campaign.
Initiative is to be rerolled at the start of every round of combat, as opposed to only at the beginning of combat. This should allow all players to more consistently be able to participate in every combat while continuing to reward players with initiative bonuses, and it creates a risk of some units getting back-to-back turns, for better or for worse.
For clarification, in combat a natural roll of 20 (rolling a 20 on the die before adding modifiers) is a guaranteed hit that will deal critical damage. If you roll a 1 in combat, I will usually ask for a second roll to determine whether there is a negative effect, meaning Critical Failures are less likely than Critical Successes. Rolling a 1 in combat may cause a minor negative effect, like breaking an arrow, or if an attack is considered risky (firing an arrow over an ally's shoulder, for instance) may cause friendly fire. There are no instances of Critical Success or Critical Failure outside of combat. i.e. If you make a skill check but do not have a high enough bonus in that skill to complete a task, a roll of 20 does not correlate to automatic success.
In this campaign, consuming a Health Potion of any variety requires one Bonus Action instead of a Standard Action. This is intended to speed up combat and reduce dependence on dedicated healers.
This campaign will utilize modified durations for Short Rests and Long Rests.
Short Rests will function as Long Rests traditionally do; they require 8 hours of sleep interruptible by one hour of activity, they prevent exhaustion, and they may take place no more than once every 24 hours.
Long Rests consist of taking a full day avoiding strenuous activity (i.e. combat, travel) and are used for restoring Spell Slots and recovering spent Hit Dice.
Otherwise, Short Rests and Long Rests function as written in the Players Handbook.
Death Saving Throws/Dropping to Zero Hitpoints:
When dropped to zero hitpoints, you fall unconscious and begin making death saving throws as normal. When you are healed or stabilized, however, your failed death saving throws remain until you take a long rest.
i.e. Character A drops to zero hitpoints. A fails her first two death saving throws, then a teammate heals her to automatically bring her to consciousness. If A drops to zero hitpoints again and proceeds to fail a single death saving throw, A has died.
With the exception of a natural 1, a player may not roll less than 1/2 of their Passive Perception score on a perception check. If a character has disadvantage on a perception check (i.e. from dim light, poison, etc.) this minimum is removed.
See page 176 in the Player's Handbook for rules on tracking the weight of items and carrying capacity. It is up to you to track the weight of objects you can carry, though you are welcome to ask for assistance.
A character must eat one meal (full ration or scavanged/hunted/purchased meal) per day and have a gallon of water (or half a gallon, as per the rules in the PHB page 185). Failing either of these will result in one level of exhaustion. If a player wishes to consume two meals in a day instead (this must be declared at the start of the adventuring day), they'll receive an inspiration die to use as they wish.
To increase the viability of mid-range armor options, Medium Armor and Heavy Armor that imposes disadvantage on Stealth (Dexterity) checks also imposes disadvantage on Athletics (Strength) checks associated with swimming in difficult waters (fast flowing rivers, escaping a whirlpool, etc.). This is a relatively minor drawback that can be countered every round with a Help action; it's mostly meant as a means of giving players reasons to choose different types of armors under different circumstances.